Focused Indulgence - Why Fandom Requires Discipline


All aspects of life benefit from focus and discipline. Fandom is no exception.

Disciplined fandom manifests in doing what’s necessary to live life in a way that maximizes your ability to enjoy what makes you happy.

Humans are notoriously bad at multitasking. Try to do two things at once and you’ll end up doing neither of them as well as you would otherwise.

In a fandom like anime, undisciplined behaviour manifests as negativity. It means someone’s spending time on anime they don’t like. That’s a lack of discipline.

Put it this way: Are you truly showing appreciation for the things you like if you're still paying attention to the things you hate all the time? There are plenty of anime out here trying to make you happy. You’re not being fair to those anime if you’re focusing on anime that makes you unhappy. We ostensibly watch anime to enjoy ourselves, but our actions don’t always map to that.

Negativity is a temptation. It’s easy emotion, a low-effort way to get to feeling strongly about something. It’s a short-term gain, but a long-term loss, as it generally doesn’t lead to any lasting change. It generates nothing and doesn’t create any value.

Shield Hero.jpg

During the Winter 2019 anime season, the premiere of the TV anime for The Rising of the Shield Hero was met with outrage over the show’s content. The outcry continued well into June, as the show was wrapping up.

Being mad about Shield Hero didn’t cause the show to disappear. Further, people seemed to get even angrier about it as the show went on, as if the show’s persistence was somehow in direct defiance of the people who wanted it gone.

The idea of spending six months mad that a particular anime exists is a remarkable lack of discipline. It’s a mentality seeks out things to be outraged about, and prioritizes that over finding things to enjoy. People voluntarily don goggles that make them see media in a way that can only result in them being mad all the time.


It’s easy to think of fandom as something to just “do” without thinking too much about it, but in a subculture like anime, with a vast wealth of media and a large, highly diverse fan community, it’s extremely easy to get swept up in whatever the big wave is. And it can pull you away from what you enjoy; cause you to lose sight of why you’re here in the first place.

Discipline is all about doing what you know you’re supposed to be doing. You know you’re not being fair to all the anime you enjoy, all the anime trying to enrich your life, make you think, and lift your mood, by allowing anime that angers you (and fans of those anime) to live rent-free your head.

The things you love only exist because people love them, and only continue to exist as long as people still carry a flag for them. It’s your responsibility to be a standard-bearer for the amazing stuff out there.

Be disciplined in your passion. Focus and keep in mind why you became a fan in the first place. Splitting your attention between love and hate is fundamentally treating the things you love badly.